2015.10.30 & 2015.11.6

EGAKU for Denenchofufutaba Senior High School 

We ran EGAKU for the grade 3 students of Denenchofufutaba Senior High School for the second year in a row. 

As part of their graduate project presentation on "The 26 Year-Old Me" their teacher came up with the idea of integrating EGAKU into the process, allowing students the opportunity to engage in deeper introspection and self-examination.

Again, this year the program was split into two parts to fit into the class time. The first session took place at the school and the second part at 92art Studio. Across the two sessions students meditated on their future selves "The 26 Year-Old Me" through a process of internal dialogue, as well as a dialogue with others. The creations that emerged were unique and beautiful, powerful messages of encouragement and hope to their future selves. 

Theme: "The 26 Year-Old Me"
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 10 participants - grade 3 senior high school students, teaching staff 
Venue: Denenchofufutaba Gakuen & 92art Studio
Host institution: Denenchofufutaba Senior High School
Instructor: Kunihiko YAZAWA
Facilitators: Kimi Hasebe
Staff: Ryoko Nakamura, Junko Sakamoto


EGAKU@Sekimachi Kita Elementary School of Nerima Ward

We ran the 2nd EGAKU Workshop at Sekimachi Kita Elementary School this year for grades 1-2. 
The students began by carefully looking at an artist's artwork and used their imaginations to respond to the work. "It smells like muscat grapes and apples." "Inside it's fluffy like a cloud." Next they painted pictures of their hearts: "You can't see your heart, but if it had a color what color would it be?" Each participant looked inward and gave expression to their hearts in their own way. 

What did the young participants make of the session?:
"I learned that pictures make our hearts happier. Everyone's pictures were so beautiful." 
"It was the first time I painted in pastels and I'm happy I talked with my heart." 
"It was so fun. I learned that painting pictures could be so much fun." 
"It was fun seeing so many different pictures." 

Theme: My heart/soul
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 24 elementary school students, a mixed group of elementary school children (1st-2nd grades)
Venue: Sekimachi Kita Elementary School, Nerima Ward, Tokyo
Host institution: Midori No Kaze Hiroba
Facilitators: Sae Shirasaki, Kaori Shishikura
Staff: Ken Morimoto, Ryoko Nakamura, Junko Sakamoto


EGAKU@Takaban Elementary School of Meguro Ward 

We ran EGAKU for 'Yume Plan Takaban' for the 5th year in a row at Takaban Elementary School. Yet again this year many 3rd-6th graders took part in the program. First timers and veterans alike focussed their energies on capturing their hearts and minds at that moment, through their pictures. The results were pretty impressive. 

So what did they make of the experience?
"I think I managed to draw my heart" 
"The picture I painted this year, and the title are completely different from the ones two years ago." 
"It was nice to get so many comments on my picture." 
"I'm glad I managed to express both the fuzzy and clear sides of my personality." 
"Next time I want to try to draw yet another, new (aspect of my) heart." 
These testimonials are a reflection of the hard work the students put into the session - approaching it in a frame of mind at turns thoughtful and playful. 

Theme: My heart/soul
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 25 elementary school students
Host institution: Yume plan Takaban
Venue: Takaban Elementary School of Meguro Ward
Facilitators: Sae Shirasaki, Kaori Shishikura
Staff: Kazuhiro Minami, Ryoko Nakamura, Junko Sakamoto


EGAKU@Sekimachi Kita Elementary School of Nerima Ward

Yet again this year we were back at Sekimachi Kita Elementary School to run EGAKU for grades 3-6, where we've been running workshops every year since 2013. After engaging with the artist's painting using their five senses, each student painted their heart in their own way.

After everyone finished painting their pictures, the works were displayed and the students took the time to look at each others' works and write comments on the works. At the end, each student proudly presented the title of their work.

What did the students make of the experience? 
"I learned that you can share your feelings in pictures." 
"I think it's good to express feelings in pictures, it was a good experience. It was also good to look at other people's pictures and write what we think."
"It's hard to put your heart on paper, but when I did it I felt really happy and excited."
"Everyone has different feelings. It made me think, 'Oh this is what this person feels.'"
"Today I learned that it's important to paint these feelings inside my heart." 

Theme: My heart/soul
Program overview: EGAKU Program
Participants: 25 elementary school students, a mixed group of elementary school children (3rd-6th grades)
Venue: Sekimachi Kita Elementary School, Nerima Ward, Tokyo
Host institution: Midori No Kaze Hiroba
Facilitators: Sae Shirasaki, Kaori Shishikura
Staff: Ryoko Nakamura, Junko Sakamoto


Three Schools Joint EGAKU - Part 3 

This workshop was run as part of Three Schools Joint EGAKU - a series of workshops which began last July at Kaetsu Ariake Junior and Senior High School. For this third session held at Seigakuin High School, we collaborated with some students from the school who were fascinated with kanji (Chinese characters) to run a special session around the theme of 'jukugo'(idioms) and inventing new words.

In the first part of the workshop, instead of the usual exercise of seeing an artwork, the students ran their 'jukugo' creation game. Participants were asked to string together 2 or 4 kanji from a sheet of pre-selected kanji to come up with their own new 'jukugo', to invent new meanings. Once everyone had invented their jukugo, next they were asked to re-imagine the essence, the meaning embedded in that word and express it visually, as a picture. 

'End-Begin-Inner-Outer','Illusion-Power' 'Human-Emotion-Sea-Deep' 'Word-Waves' - these were some of the jukugo(idioms) that emerged. The images inspired by this exercise in word play were bursting with creativity, and it was an intense and exhilarating experience giving a brief glimpse into the fresh, precocious minds of these adolescents. We hope you enjoy discover their imagined worlds. 

On the same day Komura-san of Benesse Corporation, who had been instrumental in helping us realize the Three Schools Joint EGAKU project, was hosting the 'New Learning Festa 2015' at Seigakuin High School, and he kindly gave us the opportunity to present the project during their closing ceremony. 

This project is the first time we're running EGAKU for children as a series of workshops, rather than a one-off workshop, and we're excited to see how far this project has come. With the cooperation of our partner schools, this project has opened our eyes to the many possibilities of leveraging EGAKU to support and new approaches to learning in schools. We look forward to see how this project continues to evolve. 

Theme: My Created Word
Program overview: EGAKU Program & 'Jukugo' creation exercise
Participants: 10 junior and senior high school students and teachers from Kaetsu Ariake Junior & Senior High School, Seigakuin Junior & Senior High School, Fujimigaoka Educational Institute
Venue: Seigakuin Junior & Senior High School, Tokyo 
Instructor: Kuni Yazawa
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe
Staff: Yoshino Kuwahara, Ryoko Nakamura